Finding space to lament: a Covid-19 prayer trail at Peterborough Cathedral

November 24, 2020

Peterborough Cathedral has created a special prayer trail to help people to find space to lament and acknowledge the multiple effects of Covid-19 on their lives, both individually and as a community.

The trail, entitled Covid-19: All we have lost, is available at the Cathedral throughout November. It leads visitors on a route around the building, stopping at displays reflecting various aspects of what we have lost during the pandemic – jobs, education, music and culture, people. Amongst the displays will be a collection of simple crosses, laid out in the North Transept, each one to mark the passing of a person in Peterborough who has died from Covid-19.

Visitors will be invited to pick up their own copy of a booklet to use as they explore the trail, with questions, bible quotes, suggested prayers and prompts to help them to think through their own response to the pandemic.

Canon Sarah Brown, who has worked with colleagues to develop the trail, said: “Lockdown has been a strange combination of loss and hope – so many good signs of love but also so much loss – death of course, but also security, innocence, freedom and a sense of identity. People of all faiths and none have a lot to think about and much to share. We hope that this trail will help us to make space for our feelings of devastation and also to move forward with hope.”

The main picture used throughout the trail is of a person overwhelmed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii in the first century, turned to stone by heat and ash. Canon Sarah explains this choice: “This is the posture of someone who is powerless in the midst of chaos, curled up in tears or prayer or both. Whilst we have faced a virus not a volcano, there is something in their plight that speaks to anyone whose world has been, even partially, turned upside down by loss or fear.”

On Remembrance Sunday itself, 8 November at 3.30pm, there was be a special Service of Reflection and Remembrance in the Cathedral to remember those who have died as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in this city. The service was led by the Dean, the Very Revd Chris Dalliston, with music from the Cathedral Choir. During the service a cross and a rainbow will be placed on the altar, representing those who have died and also those who continue working to care for others in hospitals, care homes, hospices and families.

The prayer trail will be available from 1-30 November during normal Cathedral opening hours. It is free of charge to take part, although donations are invited to help cover costs.

Those wishing to attend the service are asked to book a place in advance, free of charge, via

For further information please visit or call 01733 355315.